Federation of the Greens
|Federation of the Greens
Federazione dei Verdi
|Founded||9 December 1990|
|Merger of||Green Lists and Rainbow Greens|
|Headquarters||Via Salandra, 6
|Ideology||Green politics, Pacifism,
|International affiliation||Global Greens|
|European affiliation||European Green Party|
|European Parliament group||The Greens–European Free Alliance (1994–2009)|
|Chamber of Deputies|
The Federation of the Greens (Italian: Federazione dei Verdi, or just Verdi) is a green political party in Italy, which includes also a large eco-socialist faction. Angelo Bonelli has been the party's leader since 2009.
Early years 
The first official Italian Green symbol and political style was directly inspired by the Northern European environmentalist movements. The Green Lists, led by Gianni Mattioli and Alexander Langer, made their debut at the 1987 general election, when they gained 2.6% of the national vote.
At the 1989 European Parliament election there were two competing Green parties: the Green Lists and the Rainbow Greens, formed mainly by Radicals, including Adele Faccio, Adelaide Aglietta, Marco Taradash and Francesco Rutelli. In 1990 the two parties joined forces to form the Federation of Greens.
Government participation 
The new party entered in alliance with the Democratic Party of the Left in 1993 (within the Alliance of Progressives) and was a founding component of The Olive Tree coalition in 1995. Following the 1996 general election, the Greens were part of the centre-left governments led by Romano Prodi, Massimo D'Alema and Giuliano Amato. Edo Ronchi was minister for the Environment from 1996 to 2000 and Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio Minister of Agriculture from 2000 to 2001
In the 2001 general election the Greens formed a joint list with the Italian Democratic Socialists: The Sunflower (Il Girasole). The combination scored 2.2%, thus failing to surpass the 4% threshold. The Greens elected 7 deputies and 10 senators in single-member constituencies, as part of The Olive Tree coalition.
Shift to the far left 
After the end of the alliance with the Socialists, a much moderate outfit, the party shifted far to the left, prompting the exit of leading members as Edo Ronchi, Gianni Mattioli, Luigi Manconi, Massimo Scalia and Franco Corleone (Francesco Rutelli and Carlo Ripa di Meana had abandoned the party before, respectively in 1997 and in 1999). Since that point the Greens considered themselves as part of the Italian "radical left", alongside with the Party of Italian Communists and the Communist Refoundation Party.
In the 2004 European Parliamentary Election the Greens stood as a separate list, gaining 2.5% of the national vote and electing 2 MEPs. In the 2006 general election, the party was part of the winning The Union and scored 2.1%, winning 15 out of 630 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. An alliance of Greens, Communists and Consumers polled 4.2% in the election for the Senate, electing 11 out of 315 senators, 5 of them Greens. Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio was inaugurated Minister of the Environment, while Paolo Cento, national coordinator of the party and leader of the no global faction within it, became Under-Secretary for Economy and Finance.
In November 2006 Pecoraro Scanio's political line was confirmed in a party congress, but the Greens also tried to re-open the doors to all former members. The attempt of re-uniting the Italian Greens failed as soon as in January 2007, when Mattioli, Scalia and Corleone finally left the party, citing that it was drifting too much the far-left, and announced their intention to participate to the foundation of the Democratic Party (PD). Within the PD, they joined the Democratic Ecologists' faction, which already included many former Greens (Manconi, Ronchi, Lino De Benetti, Stefano Semenzato, Ermete Realacci, Gianni Vernetti, Franco Piro, Francesco Ferrante, Carla Rocchi, etc.). As a result Legambiente, the largest ecologist association of Italy, showed more support for the PD than the Greens themselves.
Out of Parliament 
In the run-up of the 2008 general election, the Greens participated in the foundation of The Left – The Rainbow with the Communist Refoundation Party, the Party of Italian Communists and Democratic Left. The coalition obtained just 3.1% of the vote and the Greens were excluded from Parliament.
In July 2008 Grazia Francescato was elected party leader, replacing Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, with the support of 300 delegates in the national congress of the party. Francescato, who represented the party establishment and was supported by the left-wing of Paolo Cento, defeated two other candidates representing the modernizers within the party, Marco Boato (111 votes) and Fabio Roggiolani (63 votes). Even if those who proposed an alliance with the Democratic Party (notably Boato, leader of the Greens in Trentino) were defeated, the party seemed to be headed to cut its ties with the far left.
For the 2009 election the Greens formed a joint list with the Movement for the Left, the Socialist Party, Democratic Left and Unite the Left. The list was named Left and Freedom (SL) and was launched on 16 March 2009. The list received just 3.1% of the national vote and failed to return any MEPs. After the election, it was decided to transform SL into a permanent federation and Francescato wanted the Greens to join it. Although this line seemed to be approved by the majority of the party, during a congress in October 2009 the party rejected the proposal by narrowly electing Angelo Bonelli, candidate of the liberal faction led by Boato, instead of Francescato's candidate, Loredana De Petris. After his election, which marked the end of the dominance of the internal left wing over the party, Bonelli announced that the party will pursue an independent course from SL, and will try to coalesce a new "ecologist constituent assembly" on the model of the French Europe Écologie. However, Francescato, De Petris and Cento continued to support SL as Ecologists for Left Ecology Freedom and finally left the Greens.
Ecologists and Civic Networks 
In September 2010 the Greens launched a Ecologist Constituent Assembly. In Bonelli's view the new political force would have taken inspiration both from the French Verts and the German Grünen and would have be open to the contribution of movements and associations, notably including Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement. Other than the Greens, participants of the new political force included, among others, Massimo Scalia (a former leading Green), Bruno Mellano (president of the Italian Radicals), movie maker Mario Monicelli, writer Dacia Maraini, geologist Mario Tozzi and comedian Giobbe Covatta.
Popular support 
In their history the Greens were never able to reach the electoral success of many green parties all around Europe. They have a stable share of vote around 2% and experienced a slight decline in the last decade. Their characterization as party of the far left did not help them in Northern Italy, where they had their best results at the beginning (for instance 7.1% in the 1990 Venetian regional election).
The Greens are stronger in cities and urban areas (Milan, Venice, Rome, Naples, etc.), in mountain regions, such as Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Aosta Valley, and in some Southern regions, such as Basilicata and Campania.
Election results 
European Parliament 
|Election year||# of
| % of
overall seats won
- President: Franco Corleone (1993–1997), Massimo Scalia (1997–1999), Grazia Francescato (1999–2001), Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio (2001–2008), Angelo Bonelli (2009–...)
- Spokesperson: Gianni Mattioli (1991–1993), Carlo Ripa di Meana (1993–1996), Luigi Manconi (1996–1999), Grazia Francescato (2008–2009)
- Coordinator: Angelo Bonelli (2001–2004), Paolo Cento (2004–2006), Massimo Fundarò (2006–2009)
- Treausurer: Lino De Benetti (1991–1993), Marco Lion (1993–2009)
- Party Leader in the Chamber of Deputies: Gianni Mattioli (1987–1989), Laura Cima (1989–1991), Massimo Scalia (1991–1992), Francesco Rutelli (1992–1993), Gianni Mattioli (1993–1994, deputy-leader of the PDS group in 1994–1996), Anna Maria Procacci (1996–2001), Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio (2001–2006), Angelo Bonelli (2006–2008)
- Party Leader in the Senate: Marco Boato (1987–1992), Carla Rocchi (1992–1994), Edo Ronchi (1994–1996), Maurizio Pieroni (1996–2001), Stefano Boco (2001–2006), Natale Ripamonti (deputy-leader of the PdCI-Green group, 2006–2008)
- Party Leader in the European Parliament: Alexander Langer (1989–1994), Gianni Tamino (1994–1999), Giorgio Celli (1999–2004), Monica Frassoni (2004–2009)
- RaiNews24 - Francescato rilancia i Verdi: non siamo più quelli dei 'no'